With Manchester United having lost the Premier League title to their 'noisy neighbours' across the city in the most dramatic fashion imaginable the previous season, Sir Alex Ferguson's side went into the 2012-13 campaign with a point to prove.
Manchester City had won the title with the sort of comeback that had become a trademark for United over the years, but the Red Devils showed that they were still the masters with a 3-2 win over Aston Villa a year ago.
Villa, who would go on to narrowly avoid relegation at the end of the season, stunned Ferguson's side at Villa Park when they took the lead on the stroke of half time through Andreas Weimann.
The Austrian striker fired an effort past David de Gea having been found by Christian Benteke's cutback to put a youthful Villa side ahead at the break.
Things got even better for Paul Lambert and his team shortly after the interval when Weimann doubled his personal tally for the afternoon in the 50th minute.
The Mexican striker forced the equaliser just five minutes later when his strike deflected in off Villa defender Ron Vlaar.
Robin van Persie struck the bar twice as United desperately searched for a winning goal, which eventually came in suitably dramatic fashion three minutes from time when the Dutch striker's free kick was nodded in by Hernandez.
The result handed United a four-point lead at the top of the table - one that they did not relinquish on their way to a 13th Premier League title in Ferguson's final year in charge.
The victory was United's 14th in their last 16 matches and took their tally of points won from losing positions to 15. They eventually clinched the title in the reverse fixture with a more straightforward 3-0 win at Old Trafford.
ASTON VILLA: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens; Westwood, Bannan (Delph 87), Weimann (Holman 80), Ireland (El Ahmadi 79), Agbonlahor; Benteke
MANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Smalling, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Scholes (Cleverley 71), Young (Hernandez 46); Rooney (Anderson 79), Van Persie